Felixstowe: Campaigners hand over petition against move to cut all resort’s full-time firefighters
12:05 06 March 2014
More than 1,000 people have signed a petition protesting over moves to axe all the full-time firefighters at Felixstowe.
Opponents of the plans to have all 999 emergency incidents day and night attended by on-call crews said the petition – calling on fire chiefs to abandon the withdrawal – reflected residents’ concerns over the serious impact the cuts would have at the resort.
It was handed to Suffolk County Council as the consultation on its proposals closed.
Senior officers at Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, which says its latest review of call-outs at the resort supports the withdrawal of the officers, are now analysing the responses received.
Labour Parliamentary candidate for Suffolk Coastal, Russell Whiting, said: “It is a disgrace that once again Suffolk County Council is slashing the number of firefighters to serve our community.
“These cuts will leave no full-time firefighters to cover Felixstowe and the surrounding area.
“This can only lead to increased response times and will seriously impact on the fire service’s ability to respond to any incident.”
Felixstowe councillor Michael Sharman added: “If it takes even one minute longer to get to a fire, the increased risk of serious injury or loss of life is not worth the savings these cuts will make.
“We hope that the council will listen to the voice of the people of Felixstowe and stop these cuts.”
Labour county council opposition spokesman for public protection, Peter Gardiner, said: “We know that the cost to the health service of serious burns injuries is far greater than the potential short-term savings from cutting the full time firefighters to zero.
“This is another example of cutting services today to pass increased costs into the future.”